I’ve been wondering for a while about the mental process that accompanies the ‘selection’ of sexual orientation. This ‘thinking’ was the result of several short conversations I had with a homosexual acquaintance which formed the basis of all this wondering.
In the modern, liberal atmosphere of our day, declaring oneself to be a homosexual does not automatically trigger society’s ‘tar, feather and destroy’ emergency defense system as it used to in the no-so-distant past. I will not concern myself with whether this is a good or bad thing, I will restrict my opinion to a simple statement of the fact that I think it is part of the societal evolution of humanity – to be more accepting of what were once ‘marginalized’ groups.
But if one accepts this as fact then invariably the question arises: “Where do we draw the limits of acceptance?” At what point do we say ‘Nay! Stop! Tis too far’? Let us assume for instance that we have an acquaintance named …errr… ‘Robert Pattinson’ who is of the homosexual persuation. He tells us that he cannot control his attraction towards other penis posessors. That he was ‘born this way’. Perhaps he says all this while wearing glitter and in a high-pitched falsetto while paraphrasing Lady gaga from time to time. We manage to look past all this and distil the rationale behind his declaration to the simple statement ‘I was born this way’/ ‘I did not choose to be gay’/ ‘God does not make mmistakes and he made me this way’. We are rational people so we say yes of course, no one should be victimized, marginalized or ostracized for things over which they have no control. And we embrace Robert in all his homosexual glory while being careful not to let any of our important bits get too close to any of his own important bits.
Now let us also say we have another friend ‘Harry Porter ‘ who claims to be sexually attracted to livestock – cows in particular. After recoiling in disgust – we may be rational men but we are just men after all – we allow him explain himself. He proceeds to ramble on and on about how he has had an irresistable urge to ‘love’ cows since he was a child. He doesn’t understand it but it is the way he is. He was ‘born this way’/ ‘did not choose to be a cow-lover’/ ‘God does not make mmistakes and made him this way’… It is natural to him. See the conundrum that we, reasonable men, now face? Leave aside the issue of whether these impulses were acted upon, desires consumated or whether mutual consent can possibly be given by livestock – those are legal considerations. Both men claim to be victims of nature/God/fate/whatever you believe. Based on pure logic, they both have a right to be accepted for what they are and not be judged. Yet we all know what will happen to anyone that claims to be attracted to animals and goes further to insert his important bits into the animals’ important bits. Extend that rationale to those amongst us that are attracted to children and you will have pushed our discussion to its logical limits.
Not so excellent, eh?
Why is revulsion the result of any ‘abnormal’ desire observed in others? What is ‘natural’ and what is not? I’m not going to pick a side on all this because quite frankly I don’t know. All I’m saying is: follow the logic. If discriminating against people because of something they have no control over is wrong, then should it extend to every facet of life – starting from the obviously uncontrollable traits like skin color through to the marginally-obviously uncontrollable traits like height, weight, and all the way to not-so-obviously-uncontrollable traits like homosexuality, bizarre-fetishes, the ‘natural’ urges for beastialty, paedophilia and and other assorted perversions? And if not, where and how do we draw the line? What are the boundary conditions?
Some would say it is not my business what others do with themselves. Perhaps they are right because I’m not sure why I’m writing this or whay I even care about it. Perhaps I’m writing this because I want someone to give me a logical explanation – free of sentiment – of where the boundaries lie – if there are any. Because until then we all draw our own arbitrary lines based on feelings and I am not sure I feel comfortable doing that anymore. We are of course rational men after all, are we not?